PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Are you in the market for a new car? If you've been shopping, then you might already have sticker shock.
New numbers from the research firm Edmunds show buyers paid $36,900, on average, for a new car last month.
That's a 17% jump and $5,000 more dollars, than the average just six years ago.
The big question: How are people paying off the price new vehicles? Most, they say, are stretching out the life of an auto loan.
The average loan is now 70 months, or just short of 6 years.
Add the interest in, and the total cost of the vehicle really starts to skyrocket.
Experts say to maximize the investment, make sure you're buying a car that fits your lifestyle in the long term. Think twice about fancy options and features, and whether the extra cost is worth it.
Also, consider a pre-owned car. Most of them come with warranties now that help cover any repairs or issues.
And if you're the kind of person who loves driving something new, Edmunds says more and more people are looking into leasing options.
What's The Deal: The rising costs of new cars